Polish chickens, similar to Crevecoeurs, are adorned with ornate crests… In spite of the name, Polish chickens are not known to have originated in Poland…
Polish Chicken Origin
Their place of breeding remains controversial to this day. However, the area in which Polish chickens were known to make their first appearance was Netherland.
Polish Breed Characteristics
Polish Chickens are very unique in appearance. Not only do they have that big crest but they have ‘cavernous’ nostrils (their nostrils are set high and form a upward protrusion on the beak). Polish chickens also have Blue legs/feet and very large, brown eyes.
More about the crest:
Crested chickens are unique in the fact that their brains are about 20% larger than the average chicken. This causes a ‘quirk’ in the chick’s fetal development which results in a crest… How it works: At ~15 days into incubation, the chick’s skull begins forming a protrusion on the top of the chicks head. The purpose of this protrusion is accommodate the large brain. The result is what we call a ‘crest’. For show-quality Polish chickens, their crest needs to be full and evenly rounded (making the bird’s head a mushroom-like shape).
Polishes come in several color variations including Buff-Laced, Blue or black (with white crests), Silver-Laced and Golden-Laced. However, Polishes do not come in black with a black crest. That is pretty much what Crevecoeurs are. (Crevecoeurs are basically a slightly different version of a solid black polish).
Polish Name Origin
The name Polish could have been given to the chicken in honor of Poland. However, it might be that the title originated from the Dutch word ‘pol’, which means ‘head’. And… as you may notice, that is primarily what Polish chickens are known for.
Polish Chicken Temperament
Polishes are generally good-natured chickens but they are more prone to being spooked than some other breeds. This is likely due partially to their sizable crests. Other than that little quirk, they are very friendly when raised with people. Polish chickens are very curious, animated and lively. Many chicken-keepers say that they are one of the most comical breeds to watch.
Polishes are generally easygoing in nature and tend to be at the bottom of the pecking order. However, these traits mean that they don’t fare well in a flock with big, confidant breeds. (Such breeds often include like Sex-links, Brahmas, Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds and ect…).
Polishes bear confinement fairly well but they are very energetic and like to be free range. However, because of the lack of peripheral vision, they are best kept in a secure place where predators cannot get to them. If you notice your polishes having difficulty scratching or getting muddy crests, you may want to trim them (unless you plan to show them). Because Cresteds can not preen their crest feathers, I advise rubbing some light-weight external parasite dust (like Permethrin) in the crest to prevent lice.
Polish chickens don’t lay as much as classic Egg-layer Breeds (like Sex-Links, Rhode Island Reds, barred rocks and Leghorns ). However, Polishes are still fair egg layers and they lay about 150-200 eggs per year. Polish chicken eggs are white and medium-sized.